Spring is in danger of turning into summer in Europe and with it the European Tour is only a week away from returning to the mainland. Before then, 40 tour players from Europe will join 40 from the Asian Tour and 40 from the Sunshine Tour for the Mauritius Open. Played at the beautiful Heritage Golf Club, the inaugural Mauritius Open has a tasty €1million purse that has tempted some big names to turn up. Thomas Bjorn has flown out to the Indian Ocean looking for his 16th European Tour win, as has George Coetzee, who’s already secured a win on tour this season.
As well as the prospect of some serious prize money, many players have flown out to get a chance of playing on a truly beautiful golf course. There is a deep, blue lagoon that comes into play on a number of the holes and the surrounding views are dominated by a mountain range. Although distance will not prove a challenge, the blustery winds blowing in from the Indian Ocean will take some working out as will the hills that run throughout the 18 holes.
The first pick goes to a man with a recent win under his belt, Kiradech Aphibarnrat. The Thai 25-year-old triumphed at the Shenzhen International in China. He did so under immense pressure as he had to hold off a number of challengers late on in the tournament. Golf fans were already well aware of Aphibarnrat but the character he showed for that win has boosted his reputation even further. That means his prices with the bookies have come in but 12/1 with BetVictor is still good value, even for an each-way bet.
The second pick is the powerful Australian, Scott Hend. The 41-year-old has winning form in far-flung parts of the world, most recently securing the win at the Hong Kong Open back in October. This season he’s finished in the top 20 on three occasions including his second place result at the True Thailand Classic. The course at the Heritage Golf Club plays only a little over 7,000 yards so Hend’s impressive distance off the tee should give him plenty of scoring opportunities. Tote’s 30/1 is as big as you will find Hend. He’s won when playing against better fields than the one assembled this week so it’s worth including him in your bets here.
Another player who has had good results far away from home is Paul Peterson. The American had to leave the States to join the Asian Tour for a chance of becoming a professional golfer and a season-and-a-half on things are going well. He finished 22nd on the tour’s order of merit last season and is on course for an even better year. Peterson is seventh as things stands and could take a huge leap forward if he is to secure his first win in Mauritius. The stats show that the lefty must be respected amongst this field, especially at odds of 33/1 with Ladbrokes.